THE BLOG

Acting After Illness #12 Patience

31/07/2017 15:33 BST | Updated 01/08/2017 11:54 BST
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I live in an immediate world.

Now, Now, Now!

Instant this. Instant that.

Patience has no place in this world.

And yet, and yet, and yet.

Patience is the one thing that will get me to where I want to be.

Have I forgotten that short cuts rarely work?

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet's long time business partner and vice chairman of their company, Berkshire Hathaway, is quoted as saying "I succeed because I have a long attention span...".

I can see Munger now, going to his office, hanging up his coat, sitting at his desk and waiting.

Doing nothing.

What is Charlie waiting for?

Charlie is waiting for a wonderful company to come before him that he can invest in.

Patience.

Wonderful.

I like this word wonderful too.

Here's a thought. How different would your life be if you had the patience to wait; for a wonderful partner, a wonderful job, a wonderful home?

Patience and wonderful are good words, ways of being, for an actor too - cultivating patience and staying focused while waiting for wonderful roles to show up - long term investments in your craft.

But, waiting, having patience, is hard. Very hard.

Most people don't do it.

Waiting is contrary to the western way, the way we have shaped our lives and minds through the development of technology.

Now, Now, Now!

Instant this. Instant that.

It's easy for me to wake up in the morning and say to myself "Today I'm going to find a role that will be a wonderful long term investment in my craft."

The chances of that happening are almost zero.

Do I settle for something less?

One of the most successful investing strategies is to be contrarian; buy when everyone else is selling. And, not being in a hurry, which is contrary to everyone {else} who are in a hurry - which is just about everybody on the planet.

Munger doesn't wait for an investment - he waits for a wonderful investment, the right long term investment - to come to him.

So, what is Charlie Munger doing while he is waiting?

He is busy.

I have no idea what Charlie is doing, but I have read he loves to read. This is his way of preparation so he sees, he knows, when the right investment comes along - It feels right.

I'm busy preparing for when my next role, "wonderful role", comes along.

There is much work to be done and there is nothing to be done

If my next role doesn't show up this week, like Charlie, I will wait.

Maybe six days from now, maybe six months, maybe six years.

This waiting, this patience, is a slowing down.

Slowing down can unlock potential.

Artists know this - just because you see something doesn't mean that you have seen it.

Looking at something for a long time, hours, days, can unlock it hidden potential..

Patience will reveal to you things that you didn't first see.

Anthony Hopkins is rumoured to read his script at least 200 times. This is one way of learning your lines, but, moreover, this action will reveal the hidden surprises in the text. The what is really being said, the emotional feel of the lines, that he didn't "see" on the first reading.

The slow passing of time and delay are in themselves positive and productive forces in their very nature to those who can wait.

Patience.

Sadly, since my last blog, my acting teacher, mentor, Jon Campbell, lost his life to Cancer.

I am preparing for Sweeties #3 Camden Fringe Special Edition, which will be at The Camden Peoples Theatre on 3rd of August 2017. The show, bite sized drama, by 15 actors, will be in Jon's memory too.

Tickets via The Camden Fringe Website.

You can reach David via his agent Sam at Brown and Mills.